Kimmo Timonen Still Has Blood Clots


Test have shown that Kimmo Timonen no longer has blood clots in his lungs. However, there are still clots in his legs.

As hockey fans it is often easy to forget that NHL players are people, too. We watch them on TV and see them at games. Sometimes they become heroes and inspirations, but they still feel somehow removed from us. Sure, we hear about injuries to players, broken bones and such, but since we rarely see them in a vulnerable state it’s easy for us just say “oh, yeah, he’s injured” and move on until the player returns.

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How Blood Clots can Effect Kimmo Timonen

Then there are times when we hear about health issues that are very serious and potentially life-threatening. Kimmo Timonen is exactly one of those cases and it has a way of truly hitting home the fact that players are real people. Blood clots, as I said earlier, can be quite serious.

Blood clotting is an important part of human biology. Without it, simple cuts could cause us to bleed to death. However, when blood fails to circulate properly, the blood can clot when it is not supposed to and get lodged in the veins (which transport blood throughout the body). When these clots are knocked loose, they can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), heart, or even the brain.

A clot in the lungs makes it very difficult to breath and can kill you if left untreated. Clots to the heart lead to heart attacks and clots to the brain cause strokes. All of those can be debilitating or deadly, so this is most definitely something that needs to be taken seriously. Kimmo Timonen’s lungs no longer have clots, however, his legs do and his blood most be thinned so the clots can be reabsorbed into the body.

Timonen wants to play hockey again and, really, who can blame him? He’s 39 years old and has been playing the sport most of his life, but has not played this season due to the blood clot discovery in the summer. Timonen has done some skating already and could do so again, but Flyers’ GM Ron Hextall said, “If there’s a risk, it’s not going to happen. Not with us,” about the possibility of Timonen returning.

It seems unlikely that he will play again this season. Even using blood thinners clots can take up to 9 months or more to be completely reabsorbed into the body. He might be able to lace up by the beginning of next season, but it’s seems unlikely this season. Of course, that’s up to the team’s doctors to determine.

The Philadelphia Flyers are handling this with kid gloves, being very careful with Timonen’s  health as they should. It’s nice to see that teams understand that player health is more important than the game. This situation is a sad one for Timonen and my thoughts go out to him and his family. This situation can be a very tough one to go through for, but hopefully Timonen can come through unscathed.